Corning entered 2015 with a goal to Build on Our Momentum and Grow. We understand that growth is an ongoing process and the path is rarely linear, so we did not expect to declare “mission accomplished” at year’s end. However, we encountered global economic headwinds and other challenges that lowered our growth expectations as the year progressed, despite increasing our momentum in several key areas. Fortunately, Corning is well equipped to navigate these challenges.
More than a decade of outstanding industrial performance has given us a strong foundation on which to build. Since 2004, we have grown sales, net income, earnings per share, and operating cash flow at close to double-digit rates. We’ve outperformed our competitors in our major segments. We’ve achieved the lowest-cost manufacturing position in key businesses. And we’ve created more than $1.5 billion in entirely new revenue streams by launching disruptive products such as Corning® Gorilla® Glass.
This track record of performance has created a rich set of opportunities and strong cash flow that make us confident in our ability to deliver sustainable growth and continue creating value for shareholders.
2015 Performance Highlights
Before I turn to Corning’s strategy for 2016 and the years ahead, let’s review Corning’s 2015 performance. Core sales were $9.8 billion; core earnings were $1.88 billion; and core earnings per share were $1.40. Those numbers reflect the weak global economy and foreign currency fluctuations, which impacted most of our businesses. However, strong results in Optical Communications helped offset challenges in other areas.